SWING DANCE STYLES

SWING DANCE is an umbrella term used to describe all dances done to jazz music of the 1920s-40s. 
Depending on the speed, style and feel of each song, we change it up...and that's LINDY HOP!


LINDY HOP

 

The Lindy Hop is an American partner dance that evolved in Harlem, New York City, in the 1920s and 1930s and originally evolved with the jazz music of that time. It was very popular during the Swing era of the late 1930s and early 1940s.

It has 6 & 8 count steps, solo jazz, air steps and lots of free time for improvisation. 


CHARLESTON

 

The Charleston dance rhythm was popularized in mainstream dance music in the United States by a 1923 tune called "The Charleston" by composer/pianist James P. Johnson which originated in the Broadway show Runnin' Wild and became one of the most popular hits of the decade.

 

It can be danced solo, with a partner or in groups!


SOLO JAZZ

Authentic Jazz dance grew concurrently with early jazz music. Used loosely the term describes all styles that were invented to accompany jazz music, including partnered styles, but nowadays it is used to describe the purely solo dance styles that grew in the 1920s and 30s.

 

Many steps are Charleston based, however there are many that take from tap and rhythms that were created on the social dance floor.


BALBOA

Balboa is a swing dance that originated in Southern California during the 1920s (though it may have started as early as 1915) and enjoyed huge popularity during the 1930s and 1940s. The term Balboa originally referred to a dance characterized by its close embrace and full body connection. It emphasizes rhythmic weight shifts and lead-follow partnership.


TAP

Tap dance is one of the oldest forms of Jazz dance!  It's all about rhythm, and is a great style to learn and practice.  Some Solo Jazz steps come from Tap dancing and can be done with taps, or soft shoe.


TRADITIONAL ROUTINES

Swing dancers just might break out into a routine that EVERYONE seems to know!  It's pretty impressive and you can tell everyone is having a ball!  The Shim Sham, The Big Apple and The Tranky Doo are some examples.

Routines can be solo or partnered, modern or vintage and recreated from old clips!


COLLEGIATE SHAG

 

In the 1930s "shag" became a blanket term that signified a rather large family of jitterbug dances (swing dances) that all shared certain characteristics. High energy and super fun, this dance really puts a smile on your face and some pep in your step!


BLUES

Blues dancing is done to slow and soulful music of the swing era.  The various styles of blues dancing were created in different parts of the United States.  

Frankie Manning tells the story of going to a late night 'Rent Party' in Harlem with his mother in the 1920s. He observed close and slow dancing that he hadn't seen in the ballrooms of the day.  

 


Air Steps (aerials)

Innovated by Frankie Manning in Harlem in the 1930s, Air Steps are a signature movement of Lindy Hop.  Any time a dancer in the partnership's feet leave the floor for a bit, it's an aerial!

You can also have floorials, These are mainly reserved for performances, jam circles and partnered dance contest as they are not considered safe for the social dance floor.